While the risk of coronavirus in Sonoma county is currently low, I think it is wise for us to have a few strategies in place. Some are all-purpose and are either already studio policy or will be so going forward; others will only impact us if we wind up experiencing school closures or quarantine.
(1) Please arrive a few minutes early to wash hands thoroughly with soap prior to every class. Try singing/thinking through "Twinkle," "Hungry Herbie Hippo," "Tweet Tweet Little Bird," or a similar beginner level song two times in a row while scrubbing to ensure effectivity. (Students arriving on time or late still need to wash their hands and will therefore miss out on class time while doing so; adjust your travel time by 5m to minimize the likelihood of that happening.) Please remind kids of all ages what proper hand washing entails and accompany younger kids to the sink each week.
(2) Make use of the "On Guard" hand sanitizers you received at your first class in September. If you joined us more recently than that, please ask for one at your next class. These are great for minimizing the need to rewash hands after minor germ exposure such as rubbing one's nose. I always have hand sanitizer available in class for student use.
(3) Stay home if you are sick! This is not a new policy but it bears reminding. Even if this particular coronavirus doesn't reach Sonoma county, no one wants to catch your garden variety cold or flu either.
(4) Remind your kids to be mindful of hygiene basics such as keeping hands out of mouths and noses, coughing or sneezing into elbow or tissue, etc.
IN THE EVENT OF SCHOOL CLOSURE/QUARANTINE:
(1) My studio will follow our local school districts and will close if schools in Santa Rosa and/or Sebastopol are closed or a quarantine is imposed. If so, all in person classes/lessons will be cancelled for the duration, to be replaced with a personalized combination of (recorded) video classes and (live) Skype one-on-ones. My colleagues in China report this has been working fairly well; kids in quarantine have an abundance of time to practice and definitely appreciate the boredom alleviation.
(2) If the May 2nd concert is affected, we will reschedule once the school closures and/or quarantine period have ended.
At some point audiation became my primary skill-related goal as an educator. Audiation expertise was clearly a primary determining factor as to why I'd see one student inhale a piece of music in days while another grappled with it unsuccessfully for weeks or even months. I knew that instinctively from the beginning of my teaching career; what I didn't know in my early years was how best to address it. My approach, especially to beginners and transfer students, has evolved so much over the years in a large part due to my ongoing quest for effective audiation-builders. To me, Gordon's Music Learning Theory leads the pack, flanked by predecessors Dalcroze and Suzuki. This short article gives a little insight into why audiation now permeates my lessons and classes!
Intermediate & Advanced students, preference forms for summer went out today! Let me know if you have any questions. Suggested deadline is 2/29/20; enrollment for all other current students will start 3/1/20.
New students will be accepted off the waiting list starting 3/15/20; right now I only anticipate having space for up to two new students in Adult Ensemble and up to three new Piano Twinklers.